|Date of birth:January 5, 1910|
|Place of birth: Gonvick, Minnesota|
|Date of death: December 3, 1998(aged 88)|
|Place of death: St. Paul, Minnesota|
|NFL Draft: 1937 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|* New York Giants (1937–1940)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|* First-team All-American (1934, 1935, 1936)|
|College Football Hall of Fame|
Edwin Clarence Widseth (January 5, 1910 – December 3, 1998) was an American professional football player who was a tackle for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons. He played college football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team of the University of Minnesota, where he was a consensus All-American in 1935 and 1936. Widseth was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round of the 1937 NFL Draft, and was chosen for the pro Bowl in 1938. He was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
University of Minnesota
Widseth was born in Gonvick, Minnesota in 1910. He played high school football in McIntosh, Minnesota and began his college football career at the Northwest School of Agriculture (later renamed University of Minnesota, Crookston) where he graduated in 1932. Widseth next enrolled at the University of Minnesota where he played football for Bernie Bierman's great Minnesota Golden Gophers football teams of the mid-1930s. The Golden Gophers compiled a record of 23-1 during Widseth's three seasons on the team from 1934–1936. Widseth reportedly "'lived' in enemy backfields and was unquestionably the pillar of strength in the Gopher line" during a period in which they claimed three consecutive national championships. The only game the Golden Gophers lost during Widseth's three years as a starter was a 6-0 loss to Northwestern in 1936. Minnesota had a 28-game winning streak when they went to Evanston for a Halloween Day game against Northwestern. The game was scoreless when Widseth tackled a Northwestern player, and the referee accused Widseth of "slugging" the Northwestern player. After a 15-yard penalty was assessed, the ball was placed at Minnesota's one-yard line, and Northwestern scored a touchdown for the only points of the game.
Widseth also won two varsity letters as a pitcher and first baseman for the Minnesota baseball team.
Widseth was selected as a first-team All-American in all three seasons he played for the Golden Gophers. As a sophomore in 1934, he was selected as a first-team All-American by the International News Service ("INS")—the Hearst newspaper syndicate. In 1935, he received first-team All-American honors from the United Press ("UP"), the All-America Board, Liberty, the INS, the North American Newspaper Alliance, the Central Press Association, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation ("WCFF"). In 1936, he was a consensus All-American receiving first-team honors from the Associated Press, the UP, Collier's Weekly, the INS, the Newspaper Editors Association, Liberty, the Central Press, and WCFF.
Widseth was drafted in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1937 NFL Draft. He played for the New York Giants from 1937–1940. Widseth was recognized as an all-NFL player three consecutive years. As a rookie in 1937, he was selected as a second-team All-NFL player by Collyers Eye Magazine, the INS, the NFL, the New York Daily News and the United Press. In 1938, he was rated a first-team All-NFL player by Collyer's Eye, the Pro Football Writers, the INS, the NFL, the New York Daily News, and the United Press. He was selected to the 1938 Pro Bowl. In 1939, he was selected as a second-team All-NFL player by the NFL and New York Daily News.
Later years and honors
Widseth coached St. Thomas College from 1945 to 1946 and his team won the Minnesota College Conference title both years.
Widseth was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. His official biography at the Hall of Fame describes him as follows: "A slashing, driving invader, Widseth used his 6-2 220-pound body to pummel opposing players, relentlessly advancing until the ball-carrier was within his grasp and quickly felled."
The football field at the University of Minnesota Crookston is named Ed Widseth Field in honor of Widseth.
- 1934 College Football All-America Team
- 1935 College Football All-America Team
- 1936 College Football All-America Team
- "College football loses member of Hall of Fame". The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY). 1998-12-05.
- "Ed Widseth". College Football Hall of Fame. https://footballfoundation.org/hof_search.aspx?hof=1558.
- Stuart Cameron (1935-11-29). "Grayson On U.P. All-American Team: MOSCRIP AND LUTZ PLACED ON RESERVES". Oakland Tribune.
- Christy Walsh (1935-12-08). "Stars Listed on Official All-America Team". Salt Lake Tribune.
- "Grayson on Honor Team: Liberty's All-Star Eleven Released; Moscrip and Duvall Placed". Los Angeles Times. 1936-01-02.
- Davis Walsh (INS Sports Editor) (1935-12-05). "Walsh's National Eleven Leaves Ohio Out in Cold: Both Minnesota Tackles Chosen; Backfield Includes Smith, Berwanger, Wilson and Grayson". Circleville Herald.
- "Four Coast Stars on All-America Elevens: Kerr, McGugin, Phelan and Dorais Select 1935 All-Star Teams; Moscrip, Grayson Named". Los Angeles Times. 1935-12-01.
- Bill Braucher (1935-12-08). "SOUTH LEADS OTHER SECTIONS – ALL AMERICA: 54~Captains Select Central Press All-American Teams". Kingsport Times.
- "Walter Camp Football Foundation". Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. https://www.webcitation.org/5gWo99Skg?url=http://waltercamp.org/index.php/teams_and_awards/.
- Alan Gould (AP Sports Editor) (1936-12-04). "East Dominates Positions on Mythical Grid Team". Ogden Standard-Examiner.
- "All-America Team Chosen For Season". The Times (San Mateo, CA). 1936-11-24.
- "All-American Team Named by Collier's: Tinsley, Frank and Francis Picked as Three Outstanding Players". Hope Star. 1936-12-11.
- "All-American For I.N.S. Service". Chester Times. 1936-12-01.
- "NEA Names Slingin' Sammy Baugh On All-America Team: NEA PICKS FOOTBALL'S FINEST OF 1936". Abilene Daily Reporter. 1936-11-24.
- "Francis Leads Players' 'Team'". Salt Lake Tribune. 1937-01-06.
- Bill Braucher (1936-12-05). "YANKEE TEAMS STEP OUT IN ALL-STAR VOTING: Playing Captains Pick Top Warriors". Post-Herald (WV).
- "Ed Widseth". pro-football-reference.com. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/W/WidsEd20.htm.
- "Campus Maps and Virtual Tour: Widseth Field". University of Minnesota Crookston. http://www2.crk.umn.edu/info/Tours/buildings/Widsethfield/index.htm.
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